Tuesday, July 06, 2004

War News for July 6, 2004 Bring ‘em on: Three US Marines killed in fighting in al-Anbar province. Bring ‘em on: Twelve Iraqis killed in US airstrike in Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: Two US helicopter pilots wounded by ground fire near Fallujah. Bring ‘em on: Iraqi police kill two car bombers near Sulimaniyah. Bring ‘em on: US troops kill Iraqi child at Baghdad checkpoint. Bring ‘em on: More explosions reported near Fallujah. Foreign fighters. “Suspected foreign fighters account for less than 2 percent of the 5,700 captives being held as security threats in Iraq, one of the strongest indications yet that Iraqis are largely responsible for the stubborn anti-U.S. insurgency.” Another joint patrol. “A week after the official handover of political authority from the United States, the Iraqi security forces are asserting, in disconcerting ways, their independence from the American soldiers who continue to serve as their protectors and patrons. Unable to shoulder Iraq's security responsibilities on their own, the Iraqi forces are nonetheless testing the limits of their new relationship with U.S. troops, including openly expressing sympathies for the most resolute enemies of the United States.” Support the troops! “The First Baptist Church of Grand Bay will hold a fund-raiser Friday in an effort to raise $1,600 for two-way radios needed by an Army unit in Iraq. The church's pastor, the Rev. Benny Still, is trying to raise enough funds for 40 sets of two-way radios each for the members of A Battery, 82nd Division Field Artillery of the 1st Cavalry. His son, Sgt. Eric C. Still, 22, is a member of the unit, which is based in Fort Hood, Texas.” Support the troops! “Edwin Linton Scott American Legion Post 175 of Washington teamed up with Bradley Physical Therapy Clinic this spring to raise money and collect toiletries for the U.S. Army Reserve 630th Transportation Unit, which is currently in Iraq, stationed just north of Baghdad… Included in the packages will be basic personal items such as sunglasses, sunscreen, water, soap, shampoo and even beef jerky.” Deployed troops don't have radios, soap, toothpaste or even poop tickets, and Lieutenant AWOL is still spending money on a missile defense system that doesn't work to counter a threat that doesn't exist. Chickenhawks blame the uniforms for their blunders. “Almost a year after acknowledging they were facing a well-armed guerrilla war in Iraq, the Pentagon and commanders in the Middle East are being criticized by some top Bush administration officials, military officers and defense experts who accuse the military of failing to develop a coherent, winning strategy against the insurgency… ‘It's disappointing that we haven't been able to have better insight into the command and control of the insurgents,’ said one senior official of the now-dissolved Coalition Provisional Authority, recently returned from Baghdad and speaking on condition of anonymity. ‘And you've got to have that if you're going to have effective military operations.’” Now who do you suppose that senior CPA official recently returned from Baghdad and “speaking under conditions of anonymity” might be? I’d wager it’s none other than Baghdad fashion maven and incompetent administrator L. Paul Bremer III. I don’t blame the poor little man for only speaking anonymously. A lot of uniforms already want to kick his ass for botching the occupation. Some CPA facts: “Before the war, Iraq generated 4,400 megawatts of power per day. Last month, production bounded between 4,000 and 4,800 — still far below the U.S. goal of 6,000 megawatts by June 30. If Baghdad's giant al-Doura power plant were producing at capacity, the Hamdanis and millions of others wouldn't be so desperate. Starved for parts under Saddam, the plant is now falling apart. Three of its four generators are broken.” More CPA facts: “The ambitious US rhetoric raised hopes for dramatic change. In Sadr City, a Baghdad slum built for 300,000 people that now is home to an estimated 3 million, Major General Peter Chiarelli links residents' disappointment directly to insurgent attacks that hit his soldiers nearly every night on sewage-drenched streets. ‘These people want something other than fighting; they want some of these basic things fixed in that city,’ Chiarelli, commander of the First Cavalry, told reporters recently. ‘They wanted Saddam to do it for 35 years and he wouldn't do it. They thought the coalition would do it, OK? And for the first year we really haven't attacked that portion of the problem.’… Mohsen is a member of the Rasheed district council, which represents 1.2 million people who rely on a sewer system built for 650,000. He said he complained for months that US troops and the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority were building playgrounds that often ended up vandalized. ‘I banged on the table at the CPA," he said. ''I told them, the main problem is not the flowers or the parks. The most important problem is the sewage.’” Emphasis added. Bremer had over a year and $18 billion in US-appropriated reconstruction funding and another $20 billion in foreign reconstruction aid. That silly little peacock failed to fix the problems of electricity, water sewage and communications. His administration was unfocused, untrained, poorly led and basically incompetent. L. Paul Bremer: The man who put the FU in FUBAR. Commentary Editorial: “The Pentagon's decision to press 5,600 honorably discharged soldiers back into service, mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan, is the latest example of President Bush's refusal to face the true costs of pre-emptive war. As with other stopgap measures to paper over the poor planning of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, this one demands more from those who have already given the most: volunteer soldiers and their families. And because this call-up comes uncomfortably close to conscription, it highlights more than other emergency deployments the callousness of the administration's failure to budget for an adequate number of ground troops.” Casualty Reports Local story: Indiana soldier killed in Iraq. Local story: Florida soldier wounded in Iraq. Local story: Texas contractor killed in Iraq. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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